Sunday, 11 September 2016

389. Sri Rama pattabhishekam.

             Bharata then told Rama "You gave this kingdom to me as desired by my mother. I now return the same to you. I cannot carry this heavy burden anymore than a young ox would sustain a load carried forward by a strong bull all alone.
            "With great difficulty I somehow administrated this kingdom. I cannot match your capability. It is like a donkey trying to follow a galloping horse or a crow a wild goose. 
           "O my mighty bro! Today, let the world see you when crowned, like the sun with its glowing splendor, shining brilliantly at noon. May you relax and wake-up too, to the sounds of an ensemble of musical instruments, the tinkling of ornaments strung with tiny bells and worn around the waist and anklets as well as sweet invocation of songs."
       Rama said with a smile "Be it so". Thereafter, on instructions from Shatrughna, skilled barbers with gentle hands who can do their work with a good speed, encircled Rama all round. Bharata, having bathed first, the mighty Lakshmana, Sugreeva and Vibhishan took bath. Rama had his matted locks disentangled and bathed. He stood there, shining with splendour, adorned with picturesque garlands, smeared with sandal pastes of various colours and clothed in costly and wonderful raiment.
         Shatrughna made arrangements for personal adornment for Rama and Lakshmana. Then, all the widows of Dasharatha themselves personally adorned Seetha beautifully. Thereupon, the delightful Kausalya  adorned with zeal all the wives of the vanaras.
       Later, the charioteer Sumantra came in the chariot which was absolutely beautiful in all respects. Seeing the charming chariot, which emitted immaculate splendour like that of the sun, standing before him,  Rama ascended it.
       Sugreeva and Hanuman, after taking their bath, wore beautiful raiment as well as sparkling ear rings and started. Endowed with all types of ornaments as well as charming ear-rings, the wives of Sugreeva together with Seetha moved out, longing as they were, to see the city.
       In Ayodhya, the ministers of the king, having placed the priest in their front, planned everything correctly.
      Then all those ministers started from the city to where Rama was. Rama, mounting the excellent chariot sallied forth to the city. Bharata took up the reins. Shatrughna held the parasol on Rama's head. Lakshmana winnowed a fan. Vibhishana standing nearby, held a white fan, shining brilliantly like the moon.
    Then, in the sky, groups of sages, devas along with many other divinities praised Rama. The sweet and melodious reverberation of their voice was heard. Sugreeva mounted an elephant named Shatrunjaya  looking like a mountain.
     Assuming human form and adorned with all types of ornaments, vanaras sallied forth, mounting on elephants. Rama accompanied by the sounds of conches buzzing in the ears and sounds of kettle-drums banging in the ears, proceeded to the city of Ayodhya.
     Then, the people of Ayodhya seeing Rama arriving on a chariot, with attendants walking in front were  thrilled to bits. Felicitating Rama and greeted in reciprocation by Rama, they followed Rama, who was surrounded by his brothers. ministers, brahamanas and other citizens, Rama was shining like the moon among the stars.
       Rama moving slowly in his chariot was surrounded by musicians having musical instruments cymbals and Swastika-musical instruments in their hands walking in front and uttering auspicious songs. Men with grains of rice mixed with turmeric making the rice appearing gold in colour, cows, maidens along with brahmanas having balls of sweets in their hands, walked in front of Rama.
       Rama was telling about his friendship established with Sugreeva, the power of Hanuman and the great act of the vanaras to his ministers. This was repeated to their neighbors, who communicated  to their neighbors. In a short time all the citizens of Ayodhya came to know about it and were astonished.
        Rama also explained to his ministers as to how Vibhishana became one of his close friends. 
      Rama entered Ayodhya crowded with happy and rejoiced people, together with the vanaras. Flags were found hoisted in houses. Rama reached the beautiful palace of the Ikshvaku kings.
        On entering the palace, Rama the prince offered salutation to Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi and told Bharata "I want Sugreeva to stay in this palace during his stay here."
        Sugreeva was very much pleased by that honor. He then gave four golden jars encrusted with jewels, to the four leaders of vanaras viz. Jambavan, Hanuman, Vegadarshi and Rishabha, telling them to get these  jars filled with water from the four oceans respectively. It is needless to mention that they did.
        Then, Shatrughna, accompanied by the counselors, reported to Vasishta, their chief priest, about that water intended for Rama's coronation brought by those vanara.
           Vasishta, Vamadeva, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Suyajna, Gautam and Vijaya consecrated Rama with clear and fragrant water.
        Vasishta and others, with much delight got him consecrated first, with brahmanas officiating as priests and by virgins, ministers, warriors, as well as merchants sprinkling the sap of all kinds of medicinal herbs, with the four gods the guardians of the worlds, standing in the air and with all the gods assembled there, sprinkling the sap on Rama.
          Rama was then adorned with the crown adorned by his predecessors. 
       Shatrughna proudly held over his dear brother Rama, a white and charming parasol. Sugreeva the king of vanaras, was holding a white whisk and Vibhishana, another whisk shining like the moon. At the instance of Indra, Vayu presented Rama, a golden garland consisting of a hundred lotuses shining brilliantly, as well as a chain of pearls, adorned with gems and endowed with several types of precious stones.
         On that occasion of the coronation-ceremony the ganddharvas gracefully sang and troupes of Apsaras danced.
        Rama first gave away to Brahmanas, a hundred thousand horses and cows that have lately calved as well as a hundred bulls. He also gave  Brahmanas, thirty crores of gold coins, all kinds of very costly jewels and raiment.
       Rama gave Sugreeva, a beautiful chaplet, studded with plenty of gems, looking like a beam of sun-light. Angada got a bracelet worn on upper arm, conspicuously studded with cat's eye gems and adorned with jewels and gems.
      Seetha was presented an excellent string of pearls, furnished with superior gems, shining like a beam of moon-light and two clean and beautiful raiment and lovely ornaments. Seetha took the string of pearls from her neck with the obvious intention of donating it to someone. Holding he string and looking at Hanuman, she seemed to be pondering as to whom she should present that pearl necklace.
        Guessing correctly the mind of his dear wife, Rama told Seetha fondly  "Dear Seetha! Give the pearl-necklace to a person, with whom you are pleased and who has sharpness, firmness, renown, dexterity, competence, modesty, prudence, virility, prowess and intelligence."
       Seetha then gave that pearl necklace to Hanuman without any more hesitation. Hanuman, by wearing that necklace, which was as white as a heap of moonlight-beams, was shining brilliantly as a mountain covered by a white cloud.
     The king and the queen then honoured all the elder vanaras and others who were foremost among the vanaras,  suitably with raiment and ornaments.
      Rama decided to honour those who, in his assessment are more special than others. He, therefore, specially honored Mainada, Dvivida and Nila  articles according to their inclinations. Rama, then suitably honoured Vibhishana, Sugreeva, Hanuman, Jamabavan and all other eminent vanaras with desired objects and abundant gifts.
       Then Rama,  after ruling the kingdom righteously for quite some time told Lakshmana "O Lakshmana, rule with me this kingdom as Prince Regent"
      Despite his refusal, Lakshmana was appointed to the office of the Prince Regent. Rama then consecrated Bharata. Rama propitiated the gods by performing Paundarika, Ashvamedha, Vajapeya and other Yajnas many times.
    Having enjoyed the kingship for ten thousand years, Rama performed a hundred Ashvamedha yagnas, in which good horses were sacrificed and numerous gifts bestowed. Rama ruled his kingdom with Lakshmana as his companion.
        While Rama was ruling his kingdom, there was not a single widow to lament, nor there was any danger from wild animals, nor any fear of diseases.
     There was not a single thief or robber. No one felt worthless nor did old people perform obsequies concerning youngsters. Every creature felt pleased. Every one was intent on virtue. In the kingdom of Rama all his subjects survived for thousands of years, with thousands of their progeny, all free of illness and grief.
      In the Ramrajya, the talks of the people centered round Rama, Rama and Rama. The world became Rama's world. The trees there were bearing flowers and fruits regularly, without any injury by pests and insects. The clouds were raining in time and the wind was delightful to the touch. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras were performing their own duties, satisfied with their own work and bereft of any greed. Everyone was intent on virtue and lived without telling lies. In fact all of them forgot the word 'lie'. 
        Each and every citizen was absolutely virtuous. Rama was ruling his kingdom for very many years.

    With this the glorious Epic Ramayana of Valmiki is      concluded.


Friday, 9 September 2016

388. Bharata receives Rama at the airport.

                Bharata then sent for Shatrughna and told him the happy news. Then he told him to inform the queen moms and other important people to get ready to go and receive Rama at the airport. 
      Shatrughna did all the things his dear bro told him. In addition he ordered the persons responsible for it "Get the cavities, if any, on the path from Nandigram to Ayodhya filled. The road should be made absolutely smooth and flat. Ensure that the entire ground is sprinkled with ice-cold water. The entire path from Nandhigram to Ayodhya should be strewn with parched grains and flowers.
       "All the streets in Ayodhya should be lined with flags. All the dwellings on the road-side should be decorated. Let hundreds of men sprinkle on the main royal highway with five fragrant colors and with rows of garlands as well as loose flowers."
          As the orders of Shatrughna were for receiving Rama,  the officials viz. Dhrushti, Jayanta, Vijaya, Siddhartha, Arthasadhaka, Ashoka, Mantrapala and Sumantra started to execute the orders with utmost enthusiasm, promptitude,eagerness and joy.
     A grand march-past of warriors and officers in thousands,  on selected horses, bearing banners and pennants, carrying javelins, spears and nooses, as also surrounded by thousands of foot-soldiers was arranged. Then, all the queens of the late Dasharatha, placing Kausalya and Sumitra in front of them, mounting their vehicles, started to receive their dear Rama and Lakshmana. All of them, including Kaikeyi, reached Nandigrama.
     Keeping the wooden sandals of his brother Rama on his head and taking the white parasol intended for Rama, which was adorned with white garlands and two white whisks decorated with gold, eminently worthy of kings, accompanied by the foremost of Brahmanas, leaders of the guilds of traders and artisans, including the mercantile class, surrounded by the counselors with garlands and bell-shaped sweets in their hands, cheered by the blast of conches and kettle-drums, duly praised by panegyrists, Bharata, for his part, whose mind was set on righteousness, who was well-versed with the secret of virtue, who was emaciated through fasting, who felt miserable, was clad in the bark of trees and the skin of a black antelope, who experienced joy for the first time after about fourteen years in hearing the news of the arrival of his brother then went in advance, along with his ministers, to meet Rama.
        The earth seemed to be  shaking with the sound of the horse hooves, the rattling of the rims of the chariot-wheels as well as by the tumults of the conches and the kettle-drums. The entire population of the city of Ayodhya reached Nandigrama. Bharata expected that by the time he reached the airport in the Nandhigrama, he would, at least be  hearing the buzzing sound of the viman by which Rama was said to be coming. As he did not see or hear anything in this respect he asked Hanuman whether he played a joke on him like a monkey, he was.
             Hanuman, without showing the hurt he felt on the remark of Bharata, said politely "Sir, please listen now. Don't you hear the roar of the rejoiced vanarass? It is obvious they are coming over here by walk and while coming they must have noticed all the trees on their way were heavy with fruit, flowing with honey which is being drunk by bees, making reverberant humming sounds. This apparent miracle is  due to the grace of the sage Bharadwaja.
        "See the cloud of dust, shooting froths towards the grove of Sala trees. I presume that the vanaras are shaking the beautiful grove of Sala trees. Now I could see in distance, that very famous aerial car, shining brightly like the moon, the wonderful aerial car Pushpaka.
       "This wonderful aerial car, with unimaginable speed belongs to Kubera."
      Suddenly the shouts of 'Here comes Rama' were heard. Rama seated in the aerial car was visible to all those who were waiting to receive him..
      The over-joyed Bharata with his joined palms, looking at Rama, worshiped and welcomed him in a befitting way. Rama, with his long and large eyes, seated in the aerial car created by Viswakarma, shining like another Indra.
       Bent low in reverence, Bharata saluted Rama, who was standing in the forepart of the aerial car and shining like the sun appearing on Mount Meru.
     As directed mentally by Rama, that aerial car landed on the ground. 
    Getting down from the viman, Rama delightfully embraced Bharata. Thereafter, the jubilant Bharata, approaching Lakshmana and Seetha saluted them in reverence and also announced his name.
Then, Bharata embraced Sugreeva, Jambavan, Angada, Mainda, Dvivida, Neela and Rishabha. He also embraced Sushena, Nala, Gavaksha, Gandhamadana, Sharabha, Panasa and the surrounding vanaras. Then, those vanaras, who can change their form at will, assumed the form of humans and rejoicingly inquired about the welfare of Bharata.
      Bharata, once again embracing Sugreeva said "You are a fifth brother, for all the four of us, O Sugreeva! You are a friend born of affection. And you are a friend in need as well as as a friend in deed."
      Bharata then told Vibhishan: "Thank heaven! A very difficult task was accomplished by you, as a companion of Rama."
    Then Shatrughna offered his salutation to Rama, along with Lakshmana and offered his reverential salutation to Seetha's feet, by bowing in humility.
     Going to his mother, who became pale and emaciated due to her grief, Rama, by bowing, seized her feet in salutation, making his mother's heart delighted. Offering salutation to Sumatra, the illustrious Kaikeyi and all his mothers, Rama then went to Vasishta the priest and offered his salutation in reverence.
    With joined palms, all the citizens of Ayodhya looking at Rama shouted in chorus "Welcome to you, O the great-armed! O the enhancer of Kausala's delight!"
       Taking those wooden sandals of Rama, Bharata personally placed them below the feet of Rama. He then told Rama "This entire sovereignty of yours, kept with me as a deposit, is being returned to you, by me.
       "My life has accomplished its purpose today and my wish too stands fulfilled, in that I see you, its king, come back to Ayodhya. You review your treasury, granary, palace etc. You will find that everything has been enhanced tenfold by me."
    When everyone got down from the viman, Rama mentally asked that viman to go back to its master, Kubera.
    Affectionately pressing the feet of Vasishta, his well-wisher and royal priest, like Indra would press the feet of Brihaspati, the valiant Rama sat by his side, on a separate seat.

387. Hanuman tells Bharata what happened to Rama in the forest.

          Bharata continued  "I am extremely delighted hearing the news of the return of my dear brother and lord, who proceeded to the forest so many years ago. Please tell me how they were spending their time in the forest. Hope nothing untoward thing happened."
           Hanuman, who was seated in a very comfortable seat next to Bharata started his tale about Rama's exploits and misfortunes and how he overcame them "I think I better tell you what happened to Rama after you left him carrying his sandals.
       "As the animals and birds seemed to be frightened to see strangers i.e. Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha, they left that forest Chitrakuta. They then they started to move over to a large, terrific and solitary forest Dandaka, which had been trampled by elephants and extensive with lions, tigers and deer.
        "When they were entering deep into that forest, Viradha, a rakshash, suddenly appeared before them. They fought with him and pushing him into a pit killed him.
        "They then reached the beautiful hermitage of Sharbhanga in that evening. After that sage Sharabhanga ascended to heaven, our triple left for Janasthana.
       "Thereafter, a rakshashi called Surpanakha solicited the hand of Rama in marriage which was, of course declined. Assuming Seetha was the reason for her rejection, she tried to kill Seetha. Lakshmana intervened and chopped off her ears and nose with his sword. This caused fourteen thousand rakshashas to try to kill Rama, but Rama killed them. All the ascetics were quite happy as these rakshashas were causing obstacles to their austerity.
     "The rakshashas who were killed include Khara, their leader, Dushana and Trishira, the brothers of Khara.
       "Surpanakha then rushed to Ravana, her brother and convinced him that he should make Seetha his wife.   Disguised in the form of a deer studded with precious stones, a rakshash by name, Maricha, a relative of Ravana, allured Seetha.
     "Seetha, on seeing it, told Rama to get it for her. Thereupon, Rama tried to get hold of that deer. Rama was angered to see that it was eluding him. As he was not able to get hold of it, he killed  it with an arrow.
       "While Rama was away chasing the deer, Lakshmana was also cleverly manoeuvred to leave the hermitage and Seetha was there alone without any protection. Ravana forthwith entered the hermitage and seized Seetha. Having killed a vulture named Jatayu, who sought to deliver her, Ravana went away with Seetha.
   "Ravana taking Seetha in his aerial car was seen by the vanaras. On reaching Lanka Ravana proposed to Seetha. Seetha rejected him outright. She was then kept in the Ashoka vana and a horde of rakshashis employed to guard her and also to make her agree to marry him.
      "Having killed that deer, Rama, on his way back to the hermitage saw his dear bro Lakshmana who was sent by Seetha to ensure that he (Rama) was safe. On returning to the hermitage, they found Seetha missing. While searching for her they chanced upon the vulture, Jatayu lying mortally hurt. They learnt from that bird that Seetha was abducted by the rakshash Ravana.
      "While searching for Seetha, they were entangled in the looooong hands of the rakshash Kabandha whom they killed. Before dying, Kabandha advised Rama to approach Sugreeva, living in the Mount Rishyamuka for his help in finding Seetha.
        “Rama and Sugreeva became close friends. It was agreed between them that Rama will kill Vali, the brother of Sugreeva and Sugreeva then will help Rama in finding Seetha and also to rescue her.
      "Rama killed Vali and made Sugreeva the king. As agreed to, Sugreeva sent his his vanaras to all directions to locate Seetha.
     "I was in the team sent to the south. We reached Vindhya, the foremost of mountain-ranges but we could not locate Seetha.
     "While we were discussing inter se our hard luck,  the brother of Jatayu, Sampati who chanced to hear our conversation, precisely communicated to us where Seetha was held by Ravana.
    "As commanded by our leader, Angada, I went to Lanka and saw Seetha kept in the Ashoka vana, clad in a soiled silk-saree, looking cheerless, but unflinching in her vow. I met her and gave her a ring with the name, Rama engraved on it, as a proof of my authenticity.
   "Receiving in return from her, a jewel  from her head, I came back to the northern shore, successful as I was in my undertaking. On my return, I gave Rama that brilliant and valuable jewel as a proof of my meeting Seetha.
        "Then, on reaching the ocean, he got a bridge constructed by Nala and through that bridge, the army of the valiant vanaras crossed the ocean. Neela killed Prahasta. Ram killed Kumbhakarna and Ravana. Lakshmana killed Indrajit, the son of Ravana.
      "When Rama killed all the rakshashas in Lanka, Indra, Yama, Varuna, Maheshvara, Brahma as also Dasharatha, your deceased father came from heaven and bestowed boons to Rama.
     "Vibhishana was kind enough to spare the Pushpaka Viman for our journey back. Rama and all others are staying in the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja."
       Bharata thanked Hanuman for the information

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

386. Hanuman was sent to Guha and Bharata to inform about the return of Rama.

              Rama did not doubt the words of the sage. However, he wanted to be absolutely sure that everything was quite okay at Ayodhya. The best way to do that was to send someone there to verify. The obvious choice was Hanuman, of course. He, therefore told Hanuman “O my dear chap! I wanna ensure that the the people in Ayodhya are safe in general and in the royal palace in particular. First go to Shrigaverapuram, meet Guha, the king there. Guha, a friend of mine will be pleased to hear about me, as being safe, healthy and free from trouble.
           “Feeling pleased, Guha, the lord of Nishadas, will tell the way to Ayodhya and the news about Bharata. Then go to Ayodhya meet Bharata. After ensuring all are okay there, tell him that I have returned with my consort and Lakshmana on completion of the period of vanvasa.
      “Tell him about the abduction of Seetha by the mighty Ravana, my association  with Sugreeva and the killing of Vali. And also about the search for Seetha and how she was traced out by you, after crossing the never-diminishing ocean, having extensive waters.
      “Tell him also how we reached Lanka and killed that Rakshash Ravana and his army.
 “Inform Bharata that I am in the proximity of Ayodhya, along with Vibhishana and Sugreeva. Also tell him that the army of vanaras and bears has come with me, too.
    “Observe his face closely for his reaction on hearing the news about me.
   “In case you feel that, by his facial expression, Bharata is longing for  the kingdom himself, let him rule the entire kingdom in one piece. O Hanuman! After gauging his mind and perception, you return quickly."
         Hanuman taking the form of a human started at once. Leaping into the sky above he landed Shrigaverapuram. Being Hanuman, he had no difficulty in finding Guha. He told him “Hi! Sir! I have been sent by Rama. He has asked me to inform you that he, along with Seetha and Lakshmana, has returned from his exile. They are now staying at the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja. Most probably they will be coming over here to see you today itself."
           After taking directions from Guha for reaching Bharata quickly, Hanuman left him. As usual he leaped up to the sky and landed near Nandigrama where Bharata was staying.
        Hanuaman saw Bharata, living in a hermitage. He was subsisting on roots and fruits, with his senses subdued, engaged in austerities, protecting virtue, covering his body with the bark of trees and a deer skin, disciplined, whose thoughts were fixed on the Supreme Spirit, with a splendour equaling that of a Brahman sage, ruling the earth after placing the wooden sandals of Rama before him, protecting the people belonging to all the four grades viz. BrahmanKshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras from all peril and attended by the upright ministers, priests and by clever troop-commanders, all clad in saffron robes.
        Going to Bharata Hanuman said "Rama whose emissary I am, has sent me to you to inform that he has returned form his exile and now is staying at the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja. He, along with his wife Seetha and brother Lakshmana will be coming over here to see you."
       Hearing the glad news, Bharata felt so delighted and  fainted through joy. Getting up in a short while Bharata embraced Hanuman for bringing such a good news. He then asked Hanuman "O! My dear fellow! Who are you? Are you a divine being or a human being, who has come here out of compassion? To you, who has conveyed this happy news to me, I  give in return a hundred thousand cows, a hundred best villages, and for wives, sixteen golden complexioned virgin girls of good conduct, decked with ear-rings, having beautiful noses and thighs, adorned with all kinds of jewels, with charming countenances as delightful as the moon and born in a noble family."

Thursday, 1 September 2016

385. Rama landed at the hermitage of Bharadwaja.

             Rama, on second thoughts decided to see and pay homage to the the sage Bharadwaja. Accordingly he ordered the plane to land in front of that great sage.
           Rama and all others got down from the plane and walked to the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja.  While all others were waiting outside the hermitage, Rama entered the hermitage and offered his salutation to the sage.
      After offering his obeisance to Bharadwaja, Rama enquired him about the city of Ayodhya as to whether it continues to have an abundance of food and free from disease and whether Bharata was attentive in his rule and about his mothers.
        The great sage Bharadwaja smilingly replied "Bharata, placing your wooden-sandals before him, is looking forward for your arrival. All are safe at your home and in the city.
       "I am highly delighted to see you now. That joy and sorrow experienced by you in abundance while residing in Janasthana forest is completely known to me.
      "While you were busy in protecting all the ascetics who prayed you for safeguarding the interests of  Brahmanas, this irreproachable wife of yours was taken away by Ravana.
      "O Rama! I am quite aware of what happened to you during your stay in the forest by virtue of my asceticism.  My disciples go to the Ayodhya city now and then. They report to me the news about Ayodhya. Everything is quite okay there."
      Rama then requested the sage "O Your Holiness! I request a boon from you. Let all the trees on the way, as one flies to Ayodhya, bear fruit and flow with honey, even in the off-season. Let abundant fruits of various kinds, emitting the fragrance of nectar, appear on them."
        The boon sought by Rama was granted by that sage with a smile. Before the lips of the sage went back to their normal position, the trees there grew to be closely like the heavenly trees. Then, for an area of about forty kilometers radius from the hermitage of the sage, the trees that no longer bore fruit, were laden with fruit and those which had ceased to blossom looked charming with blossom. The withered trees were fully clothed with foliage and further began to flow with honey.
                     The vanaras and bears enjoyed the fruits etc.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

384. Rama told and showed Seetha this and that.

            From the sky above in that viman, Rama looked down and heaved a sigh of relief. He then turning to his dear wife told her “O Seetha! Look at the City of Lanka,  built by Viswakarmaresting firmly on the mount of Trikuta, looking like the peak of Mount Kailasa . Look at this great battle-field, covered with a mud of flesh and blood of the rakshashas and vanaras.

       “O my sweetheart! This battle field has now become very renowned. Ravana, the king of rakshasas, on whom boons were conferred by Brahma and who was killed here by me for your sake. Almost all valiant and very competent rakshashas like  Kumbhakarna, Prahasta, Dhumraksha  Indrajit were killed here by me or Lakshmana or one of the valiant vanaras and bears.        

      "Here, surrounded by more than a thousand other wives, Ravana's prime wife, Mandodari lamented for Ravana.

          "O Seetha! The beach there is where we spent that night we crossed the ocean.  Do you see the bridge down there. It was build by the vanara army of Sugreeva.  It was engineered by the vanara called Nala. I hereby name it as 'Nala Setu'. It was very difficult one to be built there by anyone other than Nala.
       "O Seetha! See the golden mountain called Mainaka  provided rest and relaxation to Hanuman while he was crossing the ocean in search of you.
       "See that island  in the middle of the ocean. This is where my troops were stationed. At this place, the lord Shiva bestowed his grace on me.
       "Now we have almost crossed the ocean. See the beach down there. It is called Setubandha, adored in all the three worlds. This is very much a sacred spot, capable of washing away all sins. At this very place, Vibhishana met me.
      "O Seetha! See down there. It is the city called Kishkindha, which is full of colourful groves. It was earlier ruled by Vali, whom I killed. Now Sugreeva is the ruler of that city."
       Seetha looked at Rama and told “O king! I wish to land Ayodhya with you, accompanied by the wives of other vanara-chiefs along with Tara and other wives of Sugreeva."
        Rama readily agreed and caused the viman to land at Kiskindha. He also communicated the desire of Seetha to Sugreeva. When everyone emplaned the vimam, it zoomed up.
         After sometime, Rama told Seetha "O Seetha! See down there the lovely mountain. It is called Rishyamuka, endowed with layers of gold and looking like a cloud with lightning.
        "O Seetha! This is where I  met Sugreeva the first time.
        "Here is seen Pampa-river, abounding in lotuses and edged with colourful groves, where I was lamenting with great pain, your loss.
       "The virtuous Shabari was seen by me at the bank of this river. Here we killed Kabandha, who was having arms a Yojana (eight miles) long and over there is seen in the forest of Janasthana. O Seetha, we found Jatayu under that tree. He was mortally wounded by Ravana, during the fight with that rakshash to rescue you.
      "O My dear! What we now see down below is called Panchavati. It is called so because it consists of five banyan trees. This area is where Khara, the rakshash was killed by me along with his brothers, Dushana and the mighty Trishira. See the  enchanting leaf-hut where we lived and from where you were forcibly taken away by Ravana.
       "The river below is the the auspicious and charming river Godavari. The hermitage surrounded with banana-groves is that of Agastya. You can see also the shining hermitage of Sutikshna, the great sage. And over there is seen the hermitage of Sharabhanga, whom the thousand-eyed Indra, came to visit.
       "The hermitage you see now is that of Atri and his sishyas. The place you are seeing now is where  that rakshash Viradha was killed by me. Don't you remember that incident? O Seetha! What you see now is where you met Anusuya, the ascetic lady and the wife of the sage, Atri.
      "Now we are flying over Chitrakuta, the excellent mountain, shining. Bharata came here and requested me to return to Ayodhya.
     "Now we are crossing the beautiful river Yamuna, surrounded by colourful groves. The hermitage you see yonder is that of the Sage Bharadwaja.
     "Now we are over the holy River Ganga, which wends its way through the three worlds heaven, the earth and the subterranean world, whose banks are crowded with flocks of birds and which is lined with trees in full-flowering.
     "We now are over the town of Shringaverapuram, where Guha my friend stays.
    "O Seetha! See the city of my father. Having duly returned, offer your salutation to Ayodhya."

Monday, 22 August 2016

383. Rama and others get into the Pushpaka Viman.

               Vibhishana then addressed Rama “Dear Rama! The Pushpaka Viman is ready for your journey back to Ayodhya. Please command me if you want me to do anything else."
       After some circumspection, Rama replied “Since you are asking me that, I would feel very happy if you could do what I want you to. You very well know that all these vanaras and bears have helped me tremendously, caring little for getting hurt or killed, in vanquishing Ravana to get back Seetha. I want to honour them suitably. Now I am as good as a pauper. 
     "However, as Lanka has been conquered by you with the help of these vanaras and bears, ignoring all risk to their lives, you may honour them suitably. I would like you to reward them with gifts of gold and precious stones. They will be very much pleased and happy."
          As desired by Rama, Vibhishana honoured all those vanaras and bears, by dispersing precious stones and gold to them. Thereafter, Rama got into that excellent aerial car carrying Seetha in his arms and followed by Lakshmana
         From the viman Rama addressed the vanaras and bears “I could not have achieved this without your help. Now all of you may go wherever you desire to. O Sugreeva! All that which ought to be done by an affectionate and service-minded friend, has been done for your part by you. Accompanied by your army, proceed to Kishkindha .”
      He then turning to Vibhishana said “O Vibhishana! Settle down in your kingdom at Lanka, conferred by me. Even the celestials including Indra shall not be able to attack you. I am going to Ayodhya, the seat of the government of my father. I bid adieu to you and wish to take leave of you all.”
       Vibhishana and Sugreeva told Rama in unison “We too wish to proceed to Ayodhya. Please take all of us there, where we will range the gardens and groves there with rejoice. After witnessing you drenched with ablution in the coronation ceremony and offering our salutations to Kausalya, we shall return to our homes.”
    Rama agreed readily with a smile. Thereupon, Sugreeva along with his army ascended that Pushpaka, the aerial car. Vibhishana together with his counselors got into it, too.
       When everyone was comfortably seated in that viman, Rama ordered it to move and it zoomed up to the sky above. Feeling greatly rejoiced and satisfied Rama was shining like Kubera.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

382. Rama gets ready to leave for Ayodhya.

                  In the next morning, after everyone had finished his immediate morning chores, Vibhishana, accompanied by a small army of lovely lasses, sauntering to where Rama was resting and told him after the usual morning greetings “These pretty girls with lotus-like eyes, skilled in the art of decoration, carrying bathing accessories like garments, ornaments, sandal-pastes and beautiful garlands of various kinds will assist you and your wife in bathing.”
        Rama replied him “You better offer this service to the vanaras headed by Sugreeva. You are well aware that Bharata, who was accustomed to all comforts, a delicate youth, the great-armed and the one consistent with the truth is leading his life as an ascetic on my account. Until my dear brother Bharata starts leading his life like a prince he is, ritual bathing, lavish garments and jewels are not to my liking.
     “My prime concern now is to reach the City of Ayodhya at the earliest.”
       Vibhishana whose face became more happy, told Rama with a happy smile “You can reach that city in a day, may be less than that. You surely must have heard about the Pushpaka viman of Kubera. You also should have known that it was usurped by my brother Ravana after conquering Kubera in battle. I have retained it for your sake. Using that viman you can reach Ayodhya in a few hours.
        “O dear Rama! I would, however, like you to stay here for some more time.
        Rama replied Vibhishana “O my dear pal! I am very much obliged to you for your valued counsel. I am very sorry I could not stay here for any length of time. You know my dear bro Bharata is very eagerly awaiting my return.
       “I would like see very early my brother Bharata, who came all the way to the Mount Chitrakuta to take me back to Ayodhya. I feel it would be a sin to make him wait any longer than absolutely necessary. Please, therefore, allow me to go at the earliest. Please, therefore, get that aerial car immediately.”
       As desired by Rama, Vibhishana got that aerial car brought over to where they were.
    Rama, Lakshmana and all others were amazed to see that viman Pushpaka, which resembled a mountain and which could travel everywhere at will.

Monday, 15 August 2016

381. Indra's boon to Rama.

                                  After the departure of Dhasharatha, Indra told Rama
"O Rama! Just thanking you for the deed you did for us is not adequate on my part. Therefore, please tell me whatever you now desire most."
        Rama replied "O Indra! I will be highly pleased if you grant me what I desire most at this point of time. I want all the vanaras and the bears who were killed in the war for my sake come back alive, quite hale and healthy. I wish to see all those vanaras and bears, who for my sake, were separated from their sons and wives, be delighted at heart.
         "They were all valiant, proving their energies and did not care about loosing their lives. They made their best efforts and died. O Indra! Restore their lives to them.
        "Those vanaras and bears who did not care for their lives in the course of helping me be re-united with their near and dear ones by your grace. I wish to see the vanaras and bears free from wounds and pains, with augmented strength and valour. Wherever they live, let there be rivers with crystal-clear water, flowers, roots and fruits, even in off-seasons."
          Indra replied Rama "O beloved Rama! I never expected that you will be asking this kind of boon, which is hard to grant. However, I have not denied any offer made by me, nor been revised by me in the past. Therefore, what you desire will come to be. Let all those vanaras and bears, who have been killed in the battle, by the rakshashas and whose heads and arms have been severed, be alive and active again.
        "Without any ill-health and wounds and with boosted strength and valour, the vanaras and bears will rise again, as from a sound sleep. All of them, full of delight, will get re-united with their friends, relatives, kinsmen and family members. Wherever they live, the trees there will look colourful with flowers and fruits, even in the off-season. Rivers too will remain constantly with water."
         All those who did not hear the conversation in this regard between Rama and Indra were surprised to see their pals who were killed in the battle were coming back looking fine.
           Indra then told Rama "O monarch! Proceed to Ayodhya from here. Reassure this illustrious and devoted Seetha. See Bharata, your brother, who is practicing austerities through grief caused by separation from you, Shatrughna and all your mothers. Get yourself consecrated on the throne. Bring rejoice to the citizens, by going there."
          Indra and others then returned to their abode.
         Rama then instructed all the vanaras and bears to take rest in their respective places.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

380. Rama meets his dad from heaven.

             After hearing the reason for not accepting Seetha earlier  by him offered by Rama, Lord Shiva told him "O My dear chap! Thank heaven! You accomplished the main task for which you have come to this world. You have erased that scum Ravana, who was a menace for all of us.
          "After successfully completing all the other things like bringing delight to your friends, stabilizing the back-bone of the race of Ikshvaku, getting excellent glory by performing an AshvamedhaYaga etc., you will go to the Heaven. The king Dasharatha, your father in this mortal world and the highly glorious as well as the venerable person, is seated in an aerial car. He now resides in the Swargaloga. You, with your brother Lakshmana go and offer your respectful salutation to him."
      Seeing Rama,  Dasharatha made him sit on his lap and embracing him in his arms, told him "O Rama! I cannot say I like the heaven or dislike it. I would unconditionally and unreservedly like any place if it with you.
     "My dear Rama, today I am very happy for having seeing you, that too when your mind is completely at peace. Now your have vanquished your enemies and rescued your beloved Seetha. I presume that you are aware that the period of your exile has come close to the end.
       "I am very happy to say that I have been redeemed by you, my worthy son, even as Kahola, a brahmana was redeemed by Ashtavakra. O my dear son! I have come to know now that you are the Supreme person, duly enjoined here by the lord of the gods, for the destruction of Ravana.
      "Blessed indeed is Kausalya, who will see you, the conqueror of your enemies, on your return home. Blessed indeed are those men, who will see you returned to the City of Ayodhya and consecrated on the throne as the lord of the earth.
      "I desire to see you reunited with your Bharata, who is affectionate towards you, honest and virtuous. 
    "You almost completed the term of your exile. My pledge was implemented by you. All devas have been fully gratified by your killing of Ravana in battle. Ascending the throne, may you attain a long life, along with your brothers." 
        Rama with joined palms in salutation requested his dad "Be gracious to Kaikeyi and Bharata. Please revoke your curse on my mother Kaikeyi disowning her and her son Bharata."
           Dasharatha gladly agreed to it by saying 'So be it" to Rama. He then embraced Lakshmana and told him "A great gratification has been rendered to me and reward in the form of religious merit earned by you in that you served Rama and Seetha, the princess of Videha kingdom, with devotion. Rama, being pleased with you, you will attain religious merit and extensive glory on earth, as also heaven and excellent power.
        "Rama has been spoken of as the imperceptible, imperishable etc. Having served him, along with Seetha with devotion, you obtained the reward of the practice of all virtues as also celebrity, abundantly."
       He then told Seetha "My daughter, No wrath indeed should be rendered by you towards Rama, for having repudiated you. This has been done by him, wishing for your welfare and in order to demonstrate your purity. This act of entering into fire by you has revealed your true character. There is no need for me to give any instructions about the matter of rendering service to your husband. But, I wanna you to know one thing that is 'He is your supreme deity.' ”
      Dasaratha then taking leave of his sons and Seetha went back to the abode of Indra.

Friday, 12 August 2016

379. Agni comes out of the pyre carrying Seetha.

          Everyone noticed that something was happening in the burning pyre.  All were amazed to see that Agni was coming up from the pyre taking Seetha in his arms. 
           Bearing in his arms the youthful Seetha, who was shining brightly as the rising sun, decked in ornaments of refined gold, attired in a red robe and wearing dark curly hair,  was further adorned with ornaments of flowers, which were not on her when entering the fire. She looked absolutely beyond reproach and was beheld just the same as she did while entering the fire. Agni  restored her to Rama saying "Here is your Seetha. No sin exists in her. This auspicious lady, whose character has been absolutely and unquestionably good, has never been unfaithful to you either by word or by mind or even by intellect or by her glances. This miserable and helpless lady was taken away by Ravana the rakshash, who was arrogant of his valour, from the hermitage when she was alone without any protection.
         "This Seetha, who was fixing her mind upon you and only you and looking on you as her final attainment, was detained in the Ashoka vana, here. She was, however, guarded by rightful rakshasshis. Seetha, whose mind was thinking about you and only you, totally and absolutely ignoring that rakshash even though allured and frightened through various means. Take back Seetha, who is sinless and with a pure character. She should not be told anything harsh. I hereby command you."
            Rama, on hearing Agni smiled while his eyes were  filed with tears of joy. He told Agni  "Seetha certainly deserves this purificatory  ordeal to prove beyond any doubt in the eyes of the commoners as well as others as she had resided for a long time under the captivity of Ravana. I wanted all the worlds to know that despite the fact Seetha was held in captivity by that rakshash Ravana, her mind was on me and only me. Otherwise, people may chatter against me, saying that Rama, the son of Dasaratha, was really foolish and that his mind was dominated by lust, if I accept Seetha without proving her chastity to the whole world.
      "In fact, I knew beyond any reasonable doubt that Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, who ever revolves in my mind, was undivided in her affection to me. Ravana could not violate this wide-eyed woman, protected as she was by her own mental endowments, any more than an ocean would transgress its bounds.
   "In order to convince the three worlds, I, whose staunch adherence is truth, professed to ignore Seetha while she was entering the fire. The evil-minded Ravana would not be able to lay his violent hands, even in thoughts or dreams, on the redoubtable Seetha, who was blazing like a flaming tongue of fire.
       "This auspicious woman could not be tempted to give way to the sovereignty, existing in the gynaecium of Ravana. I am well aware that this Seetha is not different from me, just like the sunlight is not different from the sun. Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, is now established beyond any reasonable doubt, is absolutely pure in her character and can no longer be renounced by me, as a good name cannot be cast aside by a prudent man. The salutary advice of all of you, the affectionate guardians of the world, who are saying what is conducive to our good, shall certainly be carried out by me."
     Saying thus and getting reunited with her beloved Seetha, the victorious and highly illustrious Rama, a scion of Raghu dynasty, who was endowed with a great strength and deserved happiness and was being glorified by his exploits performed by his own self, experienced joy.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

378. Rama was told who he really was.

         The act of Seetha combined with the reaction of ALL the spectators seeing the action of Seetha made Rama pensive. 
Hearing the cries of these who were thus wailing, made Rama to become thoughtful. Afflicted as he was with melancholy, his eyes filled with tears.
Suddenly something seemed to be happening from the firmament. The people (human beings, rakshashas, vanaras and bears) in the ground were staring with amazement the arrival of a good lot of aerial cars landing on the grounds around them. Surprised exclamations were heard like 'That is Kubera',  'That is Yama', 'That is Indra', 'That is Varuna', 'That is Shiva', 'That is Brahma'. All those deities together with the ancestors of Rama approached Rama. Lifting their long arms, their hands decked with ornaments, they told in unison Rama, who was making  respectful salutations to them with his folded hands "How did you, the maker of the entire cosmos, the foremost among those endowed with knowledge and an all-capable person, ignore Seetha who was falling into the fire? How did you not recognize yourself to be the foremost of the troop of gods? Among the Vasus you are the Vasu, named R^itadhama (one whose abode is Truth or Divine) who was formerly the self-constituted ruler, the first creator of all the three worlds and the lord of creatures.
"You are the eighth Rudra among the eleven Rudras and the fifth ( Viryavan by name) among the Sadhyas (a particular class of celestials belonging to Gana Devata). The twin Aswinis are your ears. The sun and the moon constitute your eyes. O the destroyer of the adversaries. You are known to exist  at the beginning and at the end of creation. Yet, you ignored Seetha, just like a common man."
Rama replied them with all modesty "I think of myself as a human being, by name Rama, the son of Dasaratha. You, as gracious Divinities, tell me that what I  really am.”
 Brahma, wearing a smile on his face told Rama "O! My lord! If you desire us to tell you who you are, we, certainly will tell you so that everyone will come to know who you really are. You are the Lord Narayana himself the glorious god, who wields the discus. You are the Divine Boar with a single tusk, the conqueror of your past and future enemies.
"You are Brahma, the imperishable, the Truth abiding in the middle as well as at the end of the universe. You are the supreme righteousness of people, whose powers go everywhere. You are the four-armed. You are the wielder of a bow called Sarnga, the lord of the senses, the supreme soul of the universe, the best of men, the invincible, the wielder of the sword named Nandaka, the all- pervader, the bestower of happiness to the earth and endowed with great might.
"You are the leader of the army and the village headman. You are the intellect. You are the endurance and the subduer of the senses. You are the origin and the dissolution of all, Upendra the Divine Dwarf and the younger brother of Indra, as also the destroyer Madhu, the rakshash.
"You perform action for Indra, the lord of devas, the Supreme Ruler, the one having a lotus in one's navel and who puts an end to all in battle. The divine sages pronounce you to be fit to afford protection to all and the refuge for all.
"In the form of the Vedas, you are the great Bull with hundred heads (rules) and thousand horns (precepts). You are the first creator of all the three worlds, and the self constituted Lord of all. You are the refuge and the forbearer of Siddhas  and Sadhyas (a class of celestial beings).
"You are the sacrificial performance. You are the sacred syllable 'Vashat' (on hearing which the Adhvaryu priest casts the oblation to a deity into the sacrificial fire). You are the mystic syllable 'OM'. You are higher than the highest. People neither know your end nor your origin nor who you are in reality. You appear in all created beings like the cattle and in brahmanas. You exist in all quarters, in the sky, in mountains and in rivers.
"With thousand feet, with hundred heads and with thousand eyes along with Lakshmi the goddess of wealth, you bear the earth with all its created beings along with its mountains. O Rama! You appear as the great serpent in water, at the earth's bottom, bearing the three worlds, devas, Gandharvas and the Danavas.
"O Rama! I ( Brahma) am your heart. Saraswathi is your tongue. O lord! The gods created by Brahma are the hair on all your limbs. Night has been recognized as the closing of your eye-lids and the day, as the opening of eye-lids. The correct usages of your words are the Vedas. Bereft of you, this visible universe does not exist.
"The entire cosmos is your body. The earth constitutes your firmness. Fire is your anger. The moon constitutes your placidity. You are the bearer of the mark Srivatsa. In the past, the three worlds were occupied by you in your three strides, after binding the exceptionally formidable Bali and Indra was made the king by you.
"Seetha is no other than Goddess Lakshmi, while you are Lord Vishnu. You are having a shining dark-blue hue. You are the Lord of created beings. For the destruction of Ravana, you entered a human body here, on this earth.
"O Rama, the foremost among the supporters of righteousness! The aforesaid purpose of ours has been fulfilled. Ravana has been killed. Return to your divine abode, with a rejoice. O Lord! Unerring is your valour. Your exploits are never in vain. O Rama! Your blessed sight is powerful. The songs in praise of you never go in vain.
"Those humans who are full of devotion to you will never be unsuccessful on this earth. Those who are devoted to you, the primeval and the eternal lord, belonging to ancient times and the Supreme Person, will forever attain their desired objects here as well as hereafter. Humiliation will never be the plight of those humans who will recite this hymn in a divine ancient history, sung by Brahma, the foremost seer."

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

377. Seetha jumps into a pyre of fire.

                 Hearing the harsh words with indignation, spoken by Rama, made Seetha to seethe with untold anger mixed with anguish which caused her hair to stand on end. She became very much perturbed and started to totter.
          Seetha, who had not heard anything but sweet words from her dear hubby before, was absolutely shocked hearing those horrific words of her husband, that too in the presence of a large gathering of people. made her unequivocally ashamed and, with tears flowing down profusely from her eyes, she started to tremble with shame.
      Then, coming to a conclusion, she, wiping clean her face, which was bathed in tears, addressed her dear hubby with a stammer "O valiant Rama! It is beyond my comprehension as to why did you speak such harsh, cruel, severe, barbarous, despotic, tyrannical, ruthless, merciless, pitiless, and intolerant words, which are violent to hear for me. I don't think that even a common man speaking to a common woman would be so harsh as you did. I am not the one in the way you understand me. Have faith in me. I swear to you by my own character.
          "You are comparing me with a vulgar woman. It was not my fault, when I came into contact with Ravana. I was helpless. My adverse fate was to blame for that.
         "My heart, which was subservient to me, was abiding in you. What could I do, helpless as I was, with regard to my limbs which had fallen under the sway of another? O bestower of honour! If I could not be fully known and understood to you, in spite of our love having simultaneously grown and despite of our having lived together for a sufficiently long period, I am ruined permanently by such ignorance.
         "O king! Hanuman, the great hero, was sent by you as your emissary to search and find me. Why I, who was still in Lanka, was not abandoned then itself? O hero! Life would have been given up by me, when deserted by you, immediately on hearing the message conveying your desertion, before the eyes of Hanuman.
         "You could then have avoided this wasteful endeavour of crossing over to Lanka and waging war against that rakshash Ravana.
            "You, however, like a feeble man, gave priority to womanliness, conforming yourself to just an emotion of anger. O knower of virtuous conduct! You know very well that I am the daughter of Janaka by adoption, and I was actually the daughter of this Prithvi. My sacred birth of such a high degree was not honoured by you.
        "The oath taken by you while taking my hand as your bride seems to have forgotten or ignored by you, now. My devotion to you and my chastity and all are being ignored by you.”
       Seetha, then weeping with tears turned to Lakshmana, who was sad and was in deep thoughts, stammered "O Lakshmana! Create a pile of fire, for me. I no longer wish to survive, smitten as am with such false  and ruthless blames. I will enter a fire, to obtain the only course appropriate for me, who has been abandoned amidst an assembly of men, by my husband who is not satisfied with my traits."
           Lakshmana was absolutely stunned to hear the command of Seetha. Lakshmana, who was considering Seetha as his mother and Goddess, was completely at a loss as to what to do. His face turned pale. He just looked at Rama as if to ask him what he should do now.
          Lakshmana knew Rama very well from the day he was born and as such just by looking at the face of his dear brother, he knew what he (Rama) wanted of him. As per the command indicated in the face of Rama, Lakshmana silently prepared a pyre. No one near and dear to Rama dared to speak or even to look upon Rama, whose face was looking terribly fearsome.
        Thereupon, Seetha, after doing circumambulation to Rama, who was standing with his head bent low, proceeded towards the blazing fire. Having offered salutation to gods and Brahmans as also having joined her palms in the vicinity of the fire, Seetha declared loud and clear for all to hear "As my heart never moves off from Rama, so let this fire, the witness of the world, protect me from all sides. As Rama apprehends me as one who is no longer chaste, and I do not have any means to prove otherwise, I seek the protection of this fire.
           "As I have never been unfaithful in act, thought and speech to Rama, who knows all the virtues, I seek the protection of this fire. Since the adorable Adhithya, Vayu, the four sides and even so Chandra, as also the deity presiding over the day-time and the twilights and the night and the earth and even others who know me to be endowed with good conduct, I seek Agni to protect me."
         After declaring in this manner, Seetha walking around the pyre of fire, entered the blazing fire with her mind free from hesitation,. A large gathering of men, rakshashas, vanaras and bears, including their children and elders saw the shining Seetha entering the fire there. That Seetha, with the shining of fresh refined gold and decked with ornaments of refined gold, plunged into the blazing fire, in the presence of all people.
        All the living beings saw then that wide-eyed Seetha, who looked like a golden altar, plunging into the fire. The sages, gods, and the Gandharvas saw that illustrious Seetha entering deep into the fire as a sacred oblation of clarified butter.
       All the women, who were present there, screamed on seeing her rushing into the fire, like a gush of clarified butter plunging into the sacrificial fire, duly consecrated by Vedic hymns. The denizens of the entire three worlds including the gods, Gandharvas  and rakshashas beheld her falling into the fire, like a goddess, subjected to a curse, falling from heaven to hell.
       While she was entering deeply into the fire, a loud  exclamation 'Ha! Ha!' rose from the mouths of both the rakshashas and the vanaras alike.

Monday, 1 August 2016

376. Rama disowned Seetha.

          Seeing Seetha bowing low respectfully in front of him, Rama's heart started fluttering. Concealing his real feelings, Rama, wearing a grave demeanor, told Seetha with a graver tone "My fair lady! You are won back by me, after conquering your abductor in the battle-field.
         "Now, my manly strength has been seen by all. Today, my toil has borne fruit. Now, I have fulfilled my duty. Today, I am the master of myself. The wrong done to you by a fickle-minded rakshash, has been corrected by me as a human being.
       "What is the use of  prowess, however great, of that man who does not wipe out, by his energy, the insult foisted on him? The praise-worthy act of Hanuman in locating your whereabouts after crossing the ocean, has borne fruit today. The endeavour of Sugreeva, who exhibited his prowess on the battle-field with his army and tendering  good advice, whenever needed, is fruitful today.
       "Furthermore, the exertion of Vibhishana, who after deserting his brother who was void of good qualities sought my presence, is fruitful today.”
       Hearing those words spoken thus by Rama, Seetha with her eyes wide open like those of a female-deer, was bathed in tears. Rama, suppressing his feelings told Seetha in a stern voice "I, in order to retain my honour, have done this particular act of killing Ravana in battle and thus wiping away the insult meted out to me. You have been won by me, whose mind stands purified by asceticism as the southern quarter, which was difficult to be approached by the world of mortals, was conquered by the Sage Agastya.
          "I want you to know that all my efforts in coming over here after crossing the ocean and fighting the rakshashas and their king Ravana and killing them was not undertaken for your sake. This was done by me in order to hold up my reputation, to wipe off any possible slur on my reputation as well as to prevent any possible insinuation on my own illustrious dynasty.
          "You, with a question mark on your character, standing in front of me, are extremely disagreeable to me, like a light to one, who is suffering from a poor eye-sight. O Seetha! That is why, I hereby grant you permission to go wherever you like. All the ten directions are open to you. And I do not require anything from you or any work done by you.
          "Which noble man, born in an illustrious race, will take back a woman who lived in another's abode, with an open mind? Having been born in a very illustrious lineage, how can I accept again you, who was seen in Ravana's lap while being borne away by him and who was seen by him with evil looks?
         "I, hereby, reiterate that you were won by me to retrieve my honour. The honour has been restored by me, now. For me, there is no attachment in you. You are now free to go wherever you like from here. I absolutely will not have any objection if you set your mind on Lakshmana or Bharata.
       "Otherwise, if you like to be united with Shatrughna or Sugreeva or Vibhishana, you may seek him. Seeing you, who are endowed with a beautiful form and attractive to the sense, detained for long in his abode, Ravana could not have endured your separation."
        Hearing that unpalatable speech of her beloved husband, Seetha, who used to hear pleasing words alone, was very much trembled for long, like a creeper attacked by the proboscis of an elephant and thereupon shed torrential tears.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

375. Vibhishana brings Seetha to Rama.

              Hanuman, returning to where Rama was, told him that Seetha informed him that she was very much eager to see her husband, Rama, at the earliest.
       Rama was overwhelmed to hear that information. Then, drawing a deep and warm breath he told Vibhishana, who was standing nearby "Bring here Seetha, after she has bathed her head, has been anointed with charming cosmetics and adorned with beautiful jewels. Please bring her to me as early as you can.”
      Vibhishana, after collecting suitable dress, ornaments etc. and went to to Seetha accompanied by his own women for helping Seetha to take bath et al. On seeing Seetha he told "O Seetha! Anointed with charming cosmetics and adorned with beautiful jewels, get into the palanquin. Your husband is very eager to see you.”
       Seetha replied "O king of rakshashas! I wish to see my husband, at the earliest. I do not like to waste time in taking bath, dressing up et al."
        Vibhishana told her Rama desires to see her duly dressed and ornamented etc." 
      When Seetha was ready, she was taken into a shining palanquin, covered with an exceedingly valuable cloth and guarded by numerous rakshashas, was being tasken to the presence of Rama. Vibhishana went ahead of her to inform Rama the arrival of Seetha. 
        The thought that he would be seeing Seetha now made Rama feel a mixture of joy, indignation and a sense of misery. He then told Vibhishana to bring her to her presence as soon as she arrives.
       On learning that Seetha was coming in a palanquin to where Rama was stationed, very many rakshashas, bears and vanaras gathered to have a sight of that Seetha for whom the greatest war of that time was fought. Seeing that a large crowd was gathered around the palanquin where Seetha was sitting, Vibhishana ordered his police force to disperse the crowd there quickly. Police rakshashas wearing jackets and turbans and carrying staffs which made a jingling sound, started dispersing those crowd.
         Crowds of bears, vanaras and rakshashas, who were getting rough treatment from the police force, were making all sorts of noise, due to pain, while moving away from the palanquin on all sides. The intensity of the noise created by them was so great, resembling the roar of a sea, lashed by a storm.
        Learning the reason for that outcry,  Rama told Vibishana "Why are these people harassed by your chaps? Stop this exertion. They are my own people. An apartment or a police force is not a thing that protects a woman. Her character is her shield.
          "A woman becoming visible to public in times of a calamity, or in battles, or in Swayamvara or in marriage-functions is not condemned.
       "Seetha underwent quite a lot of stress and distress and was beset with a great difficulty. There is no fault in her appearance in public, particularly in my presence. Therefore let her come to me on foot, leaving the palanquin there. Let these vanaras and others may see Seetha in my presence."
       Vibhishana brought Seetha by foot to Rama, as ordered by him.      However, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and Hanuman  felt very much perturbed. From the pitiless facial features of Rama, showing indifference to his consort, they conjectured that Rama was, in someway, displeased with Seetha. Seetha, for her part, shrinking into her limbs with modesty, approached her husband, duly followed by Vibhishana.
      The pleasant-faced Seetha, who considered her husband as her highest deity, saw the charming face of her husband with surprise, rejoice and affection. Seeing the face of her beloved husband, which had not been seen for a long time and which was charming like the rising full moon, her mental fatigue was dispelled forthwith.